I got a newer computer at last. Now the game I upgraded for doesn't want to download for me, go figure. I went ahead and downloaded a different game, which is taking a good while. Since I didn't have much else to do, I decided to go ahead with watching my next movie and at least get started on this review. I thought about watching a movie for my other blog, but decided not to at the last minute and popped in White Lady (2006) instead. Since I don't really know of any horror movies coming out in the theaters, I figured I had better take my time with the movies I want to review over there.
Pearl (Pauleen Luna) and her best friend Jonathan (Gian Carlos) are the new kids at college, having moved there from their homes in Ilooilo. Pearl is interested in singing, so is taking classes that deal with that. She eventually meets Mimi (Iwa Moto), a snobby rich girl, and her group of friends. At first, Pearl seems to get along with them, but then she falls out of favor with them when she learns that they picked on a girl there which drove her out of school. Jonathan still hangs with the group though, which ends up driving a wedge in their friendship. Then Pearl meets Robbie (JC de Vera), who quickly falls for her. While all this is happening, Pearl keeps hearing stories about a lady dressed in white who is supposed to be haunting the school. Soon after meeting Robbie, Mimi's group of friends start to have bad things happen to them one by one. Fearing the white lady is after them, they look for ways to help themselves. Pearl learns more and more about Christina (Angelica Panganiban), the girl Mimi's group picked on, and more about Robbie.
White Lady, directed by Jeff Tan, is the second film from the Philippines that I have watched now, I think. It is easy to lose track of how many films I have watched from different countries. Anyway, I didn't care for this one a whole lot. It was a bit confusing at first, but it did get better as it went at least. I made sure the subtitles were on before I started, as I figured I would need them. The subtitles ended up being something I didn't care for at all. The translation of things didn't make a lot of sense at times. It was easy to tell this because I could get the gist of what was being said by what was happening in the scene, like Robbie asking if he could sit next to Pearl ended up being something completely different according to the subtitles. The subtitles would sometimes stay on the screen for a long time, and at other times I would just notice it had come up before it would disappear. I know I missed more than a few words. Outside of being very annoying, the subtitles weren't really why I ended up not liking White Lady. I don't know much at all about the Filipino language, but there was an odd mix of that and English present. I couldn't understand what was being said, without the help of the subtitles, the majority of the time, but I would catch one word that would be in English in the middle of it sometimes. Then there are times when they speak in English or Filipino and then switch for no reason that I could figure out. As I said a little while ago, I found the plot a little confusing at times when it started. The white lady was mentioned here and there, but wasn't part of the plot for a while. It was mostly about the relationships that were going on. Eventually we start getting into the revenge aspect of the story. It was around this time that I thought that White Lady started to improve.
Even though the story was improving, the effects were not. As far as I could tell, all effects were done using CGI. None looked all that great. Some was done to add burns to an actress, while some of it was to add things that wasn't there...like a lot of big rats. No actual gore effects to be found. The acting seemed to be okay to me. Iwa Moto had the spoiled rich girl act down very well. I thought that Pauleen Luna's character was going to the shy type, and she is slightly, but she isn't afraid to stand-up for herself either. While I thought Luna does just fine with her acting, it was more her character that I liked.
White Lady is apparently based on an urban legend in the Philippines. I haven't actually looked into it to see how close it is, but from a thread on IMDb, it sounds like writers took the revenge aspect of the White Lady legend and re-worked it to fit their story. This was a little disappointing to find out, as I like finding out about urban legends from other countries. Anyway, White Lady does seem to borrow a little bit from other films. The one that stood out to me the most would be The Ring. The way the White Lady walks reminded me a lot of Samara. While this wasn't a completely bad film, as it did get better eventually, I still couldn't give it my average rating. It comes close, but there are just too many things I didn't care about it to put it there. For the curious perhaps.
2 out of 5 I wouldn't be caught dead in all white